Science Communication Medal

Science Communication Medal

In the framework of the scientific lecture series (Wissenschaftserie) at the Göttinger Literaturherbst, since 2014, the Science Communication Medal is awarded annually to scientists who have been particularly successful in communicating outstanding research results to the broad public. 


In 2023, the Science Communication Medal goes to animal ecologist Katrin Böhning-Gaese. The award recognizes her outstanding services in science communication and her constant efforts to raise public awareness of the need to protect biodiversity. Böhning-Gaese is director of the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre and professor at the Goethe University Frankfurt.


The ninth winner of the Science Communication Medal is psychologist Prof. Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer. He is Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and has headed the Harding Center for Risk Literacy in Potsdam since 2020. For many years, Gigerenzer has been concerned with communicating to the society how to make rational decisions when time and information are limited and the future is uncertain. With his captivating and instructive lectures, he is considered a luminary in dialogue with the general public. He is one of the most internationally cited German-speaking psychologists and a crucial key player in his field.


In 2021, political economist and sustainability scientist Prof. Dr. Maja Göpel was honored with the Science Communication Medal. She is a co-founder of the Scientists for Future initiative and is actively involved in debating aspects of climate policy and social change. She recently left her position as Scientific Director at The New Institute in Hamburg to dedicate more of her time to the diverse tasks in the field of science communication.


In 2020, the social scientist Prof. Dr. h.c. Jutta Allmendinger was awarded with the Science Communication Medal for her special efforts in science communication. In her research, she deals with aspects of the labor market, social policy, and social inequality as well as issues of gender justice.


In 2019, the behavioral biologist Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski of the Max Planck Institute for Behavioural Biology in Constance was awarded the Science Communication Medal. The awardee has not only inspired the public for science in generally understandable lectures and interviews. He also invites everyone interested to participate in his research. He initiated, for example, the MAXCINE public center in Radolfzell, where everyone is welcome to become a researcher himself. And with the Animal Tracker app developed by him and his team, everyone is called upon to document their own observations of animals in nature and thus become a Citizen Scientist.



The Science Communication Medal 2018 was awarded to the materials scientist Prof. Dr. Mark Miodownik for his outstanding contributions in bridging the gap between the realm of molecules as well as crystal lattices and our everyday world with its fascinating substances and materials. 


Prof. Dr. Douglas R. Hofstadter received the Science Communication Medal in 2017. For decades, Hofstadter's concern has been to open up the topics and results of cognitive science to a broad audience. Numerous essays and books testify to his ability to vividly explain the complex interrelationships of his subject. 


Prof. Dr. Metin Tolan was awarded the Science Communication Medal 2016 for his outstanding achievements in communicating complex scientific topics to a broad public. In several books and numerous lectures Metin Tolan deals in an entertaining way with the physics of, for example, football matches or James Bond – and thus brings this scientific discipline closer to the public.



Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch was honored with the Science Communication Medal 2015 for his dedication to present even most complex scientific research topics on television to a broad number of viewers in an easy understandable way.



The first winner of the Science Communication Medal in 2014 was British physicist Prof. Dr. David J.C. MacKay, who was honored for his outstanding achievements to communicate environmental science wiht clear texts, facts and figures, backed up by empirical data and explanations of limitations – to the broad public as well as to politicians.




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